OSC Seal

U.S. Office of Special Counsel

1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 300

Washington, D.C. 20036-4505

OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL ANNOUNCES NEW 
OUTREACH INITIATIVES


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 2/11/99
CONTACT: JANE MCFARLAND
(202) 653-7984      

    Elaine Kaplan, Special Counsel for the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), today announced the creation of a new position at OSC: Outreach Specialist. According to Ms. Kaplan, “the position has been created to ensure that federal workers and managers are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the statutes enforced by OSC, and of the role that OSC plays in upholding the merit system.” OSC is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. Under the Civil Service Reform Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act, the OSC’s primary mission is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing.
 
   The new position, Outreach Specialist, is a direct outgrowth of OSC’s 1994 reauthorization legislation. The legislation ordered agencies to ensure (in consultation with the Office of Special Counsel) that employees are informed of the rights and remedies available to them under the Whistleblower Protection Act and other statutes protecting federal employees from prohibited personnel practices. Debbie Billet-Roumell, an attorney and former union organizer and lobbyist, will assume the position of Outreach Specialist. 

   With the creation of this new position, OSC will begin developing resources to provide updated training and education programs for federal agencies. In addition, OSC will work with management officials on how to prevent prohibited personnel practices in the workplace and comply with and enforce civil service laws, rules and regulations. Ms. Kaplan stated that she “strongly believes that if managers are given appropriate information and training in personnel matters, the federal government will be able to operate more effectively and employees will be able to focus on the mission of their agencies.”  

   OSC will continue to work with various advocacy groups, employee unions and associations, and agency officials to ensure these constituents have adequate information on OSC. As part of this effort to increase public awareness of OSC, it has updated and greatly expanded its web page located at www.osc.gov, and has published a revised pamphlet which explains the office, titled: “The Role of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.” Ms. Kaplan is hopeful that “with the creation of this new position and OSC’s new and continuing outreach efforts, every federal employee will understand the role of OSC in protecting merit system principles.” 

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